Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 1, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

9:00 am
coming home from 12 to 14 month, rotary wing is the queen of the realm. a lot is moving from airfield to airfield where the c 27 could fill in a gap we think is critical. even in afghanistan but if you take it to other places in the world i think it is even more convincing. plus it provides tremendous capability for homeland defense. that is one of the things that was critical about the c-27 and its ability to get into airfield here in the united states that other aircraft can i get into in the case of a homeland defense- kind of missions. we're totally committed. >> if we could get that follow- up, that would be great. many of us are interested in pushing them along. i think the germans come in his opening remarks, talked about the shortfalls in the megan's account. in many respects, this should be a milestone -- shortfalls in the
9:01 am
maintenance account. in many respects, the should be a milestone year. we are doing a full startup of r&d for the ohio program. obviously, this is progress that could be challenged if the sequestration goes into affect. maybe if you could talk a little bit more about the account in terms of impact and fleet capability of. >> in the navy, we set in stride. we deploy. over half our forces are under way in ships and submarines on a given day. about 40% are forward deployed. the demand for those are going up. the maintenance funding that we have come up when we bring them
9:02 am
home for their turnaround, is absolutely essential to sustain that force, to reset it, and prepared to go, both of the amphibious left for the marines and the aircraft carriers and surface ships. we have watched the trend over time. we are operating within acceptable levels. there is a negative trend over the long term as we shrink those maintenance funds. as we go forward, we're absolutely committed to keeping the force whole and ensuring that those forces that are operating are well maintained and operating. it does present a challenge with a declining budget. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from alabama is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for being here. the dod in this current year budget projected fuel costs per barrel to be $431. the d.o.a. has paid $366 per
9:03 am
barrel. and it is predicting that that law will be sustained throughout the balance of this fiscal year. how will you do with that? >> thank you for the opportunity. we do have an aggressive program in fuel savings. we're looking at opportunities, both existing technologies and new technologies, to get after it. a good example is a recording of our c one--- of our c-1/3 year crash. -- c-130 aircraft. simple things that we're doing across our aircraft fleet, changing as we buy new aircraft, some of the exterior hold the suns, it cuts down on a little bit of fuel. you would think that that is not significant. but we understand that the air
9:04 am
force is the number one user of fuel in the united states. every little bit that we can cut saves money on things that we need in the force. we are attacking this because this is the most important thing that we can get out for air force savings. >> thank you so much for the question. we share your concern about that and what i perceive to be a critical vulnerability, airlines of fuel, not only from a cost perspective, but from a long line of logistics', especially when we have seen in afghanistan but that doesn't terms of putting people in harm's way to deliver that fuel. -- what that does in terms of putting people in harm's way to deliver that fuel. every unit that goes over there has renewable energy. that includes not only solar panels, but tend liners, low energy or energy efficient lighting.
9:05 am
as we look at our requirements, as we acquire new equipment, fuel efficiency is a critical part of our requirements document. as a whole, within the department and navy, the secretary of the navy is leading an aggressive effort to replace our fossil fuels with alternative fuel sources and other initiatives in developing technologies that are available to releases from the shackles of fossil fuels, again, not only from a cost perspective, but from delivering it to the battlefield. >> i am hearing that this 25% increase in costs that was not budgeted is something that you think you will be able to adequately deal with? >> we are making choices. we increase on the reliance for proficiency and then our pilots and ground forces to make sure that we can maintain a high
9:06 am
state of readiness and still pay all our bills. i will not say it will let be difficult. it will be challenging. this exacerbates an already stressed maintenance account. but we're trying to work within the resources that we have, again, to ensure that our folks maintain proper training before they are deployed. but we have no issue with delivering fuel to our forces in the field which is our number one priority. >> we are also report of a very aggressive energy effort led by the secretary for all of our bases. but more to your point is the challenges of this fiscal year that we are facing. should the current prices be sustained, lately, we have seen the start to come down a bit, but there were sustained for the entire year for the department of the navy, the short part -- the shortfall would be about $1 billion. we would offset those by reductions in other areas and operations and maintenance account to pay for that or seek
9:07 am
a reprogramming or other action from the congress to address it. because it is an execution year, the horizon of many of our efficiency initiatives will not generate those savings in order to generate them this year. what we will let do is reduce the commitment of the operating forces to the combat commanders and the will to sustain what we need to train and operate forward. >> i have little to that except for the fact that the army is working in three specific areas, operational energy for forces deployed. we will do whatever we can to balance accounts to ensure that they have what they need. but we're looking at ways to reduce their reliance. one of them is replacing all of our generators with new fuel- efficient and a jitters. the savings is huge. both the request for proposals for the ground combat vehicle, the infantry fighting vehicle, and the jltv, the tactical
9:08 am
vehicle include energy savings. i think that is a big selling point when you look at the lifecycle cost of those vehicles once we bring them on board. in the closed-captioned stations, we're working with a net-0 pilot in three installations. we're using solar at the training center and other locations to help with our energy needs. and also for the human resource command, the new personal command of the army at fort knox, kentucky, they use geothermal to produce heating and cooling in the summertime. >> thank you. >> the lady from hawaii is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. by the way, i think we owe you a happy birthday to the marine corps. you will be celebrating for the next couple of days or so. let me begin with statements to have made in your statement.
9:09 am
i am curious about the fact that you said that our nation needs an expeditionary force that can respond to today's crisis with today's force today. first, i would like you to explain what you meant by the expeditionary force. also, tell me -- you're talking about today's crisis with today's force today, but as we look at a 10-year budget, what is the force to look like in the year 2020? buzzer discussions we have been having with secretary panetta -- those are discussions we have been having with secretary panetta as well as the new chief. >> the first question concerns expeditionary. number one, we would not be relied on political actions provided by somebody else. if we needed to go someplace, naval forces are uniquely capable of being able to do
9:10 am
that. we're capable in operating in an austere environment. wycombe with the water and fuel supplies that our marines and sailors need. in general terms, that is what we mean by expeditionary. by what we mean by today's forces today, the physical presence matters. number one, it absolutely shows a sign of our economic and military commitment to a particular region. it perturbs potential adversaries and ensures our friends. as you start moving up the range of military operations, it allows you to respond in a timely manner to crises. many times, you have hours if not minutes to provide or respond to a crisis. you cannot do that from the continental united states. the naval forces are on the scene and able to do that. the other thing it does is it allows you to buy time for decision makers. when you have forces there, they
9:11 am
can contain the crisis as the rest of the joint force prepares to respond to something that is a bit larger than the crisis being dealt with on the scene. from my perspective, when you look at expeditionary forces, you look at responding today's crises today -- what you really have with four deployable forces is the head did to bring that up from day-to-day operating conditions and respond to a crisis. the sticker price for that same force, you can enable a joint force to respond to something larger. >> you'll also 0 went off -- you also went on to say that director panetta ordered half the time to achieve readiness. is it not the underlying assumption that we all have that we know where we will be? thus there not also have to be some kind of analysis? if you will be ready to go
9:12 am
within a couple of hours or whatever it is, we know where we would most likely be, that your services will most likely be needed. i am for quality. i have kaneohe. if you're deployed to afghanistan, it will not be a couple of hours. these trees ise because we do not have money for everybody. so where is it we will put our resources? >> it is pretty clear to all of us and has been stated by the secretary of defense. before the foreseeable future, we will have security challenges in the united states central command related to pakistan. this is another area where we expect a significant presence. but if there is one thing we're
9:13 am
not very good at is predicting the future. as sure as we talk about the priority of the pacific and then the challenges that exist in the united states central command, someplace else will cause us to respond and we do not know where that will be. so when combatant commanders asked for deployed forces to be out there on a routine basis, each of them ask for that. they ask for that as a mitigation to the risk of the unknown. that is what i believe we provide. again, from a party perspective, certainly, we will see the proponents of our effort and commitment to be in the pacific command and the central command. but priority cannot be exclusivity. we still have to soot -- still have to satisfy the demands of the of the combatants. but it is a hedge against the risk of the unknown. >> i am curious as to what an expeditionary force would be comprised of. i am talking about ships,
9:14 am
helicopters and vehicles. if you can give me an idea for a things are no longer necessary, i will have an idea of whether or not we know what we're talking about. >> i will do that. the good news for use the there are expeditionary capabilities on the island of hawaii and available on the pacific in times of crisis. i would be happy to get back to you on the detailed expeditionary forces and rebel forces that are critical to our ability to do our job. >> thank you very much. >> i would be happy to do the same for the army. >> and the air force? >> and if you call it anything other then expeditionary force, i would appreciate knowing what that is. >> we have been 100% right in something and that is never getting it right. >> general dempsey said the same thing. >> that is true. we have to do is look at history. when we do not have a balanced
9:15 am
force that can meet wherever u.s. national interests are threatened, for the central curtises we must provide military force, that is when we get ourselves into trouble. i think that is important, to look at the history of how we have done. we are repeating a cycle that is something that has happened many times in our history. >> thank you very much. >> i want to thank you for your patience. we have just a few more questions. i will ask the gentleman from guam if she can ask a quick question of him. >> this is for you, general. what shortages in critical skill sets in your respective services are your already experiencing because of manpower reductions already taken? what impact would you anticipate from further reductions?
9:16 am
how are these shortages affecting your war fighting capability? general, why do not go first since we know that the air force has experienced shortages in more than a dozen enlisted nco and officers skill sets, especially in the maintenance area. >> general. >> thank you for the question. you're absolutely right. there are several skill sets that have come under pressure. i think it talks to capacity. in our air force, some portions of our air force have a good capacity to handle the first fight. and then we will be stretched a little bit on the second fight. but already come in a scenario where we have one fight or where we are engaged just like we are now in afghanistan and iraq, we
9:17 am
are already stressed in some very key areas. you mentioned several of them. we are growing so fast in the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance that we're struggling to keep abreast of the requirements for those people who take the data that is coming into the system and break it down for use by our ground forces and others. our battlefield and men that were billed for a certain model during the cold war, we are catching up to their requirements for our battlefield chairman. all of the units on the ground are supported by those air combat control folks, see ct, our special tactics for fox -- special tactics folks. special operations, weather, and security forces, as we have picked up one more responsibility of the fence around bases. they're all under pressure. in our officer career field, some of the things that we never thought about, dissented because
9:18 am
of the way that the services do differently, we have a lotus senior contracting nco's and officers. they normally do this with civilians. our expeditionary officers in some of these critical field, like air of subcontracting and specific civil engineering sets are all under pressure and things that we need to move forward on. as we construct our forced across these budget battles, we will be keeping our eye on growing those so that the air force will come under pressure in other areas. but we will have to keep an eye on those very critical ones so that we can grow to a better and more acceptable level of risk. >> thank you very much. >> we will come back to that question as soon as the general has answered one more question. since the korean war, it is mine understanding that there has not
9:19 am
been a single soldier or marine who lost his life in combat due to a threat from the air. that is 58 years. i may be inaccurate, but that is a statement that was given to me. oftentimes, we call that their dominance. if we were to move to those cuts that sequestration could bring about, would that put into question our continued ability to have that kind of air dominance? >> mr. chairman, i would never beg to correct, but i would in one way. we have, since the korean war, suffered an air attack by scud and by some others who have taken the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines on the ground. i think that the point that you make is one that is often talked about. that is the fixed-wing air, to our opponents, airforce is, naval air forces, we have not
9:20 am
lost or have been under attack since the latter part of the korean war. that is something that our air force says centered on our air force. but our marine air and naval air and even the robbery arm of the army, we have put together what we have called their dominance over the years to give our ground forces the ability to react and fight under that protection. i give you one small example that my friend from the army will chuckle about. when i was in europe during the late 1980's, we would practice for the big war on the plains of northern germany. we would go out in our brigade formation. when we came under attack from supposedly soviet force air, we would do herringbone maneuvers and all kinds of things to react to so that they could set up and defend us and so forth. we have now come to an age where we are so used to and so
9:21 am
enabled by the year dominance that the joint team brings to the battlefield that i cannot remember even talking about a herringbone maneuver in the last few years. our situation on the ground and in the sea would change drastically if it were not for the joint air forces that bring this capability. certainly, we will all be in a pressure under the new budget regime and especially if we go to sequester. i would just say that, without starting a long conversation about areas of the world where we talk about the paradigm of area and a to raheem devaughn, anti access area denial event, so that our opponents build an area that is so constricted to our ability to enter the area or fight in the area due to their ability to cut air defenses, sea defenses, ship defenses that keep us at range that the future
9:22 am
of the budget scenario that would severely constricted our ability to approach those requirements, those weapons, those new aircraft or other weapons that would give us the a2ad accessn thisa2a environment, i think that is where the pressure will be paired in some portions of the world, if we are not able to break the environment, i believe that we will be in a position where we will not be able to guarantee that their dominance for air supremacy to our sea and land forces as we operate. >> thank you so much for being here. i know you have to go. we are accusing you from the hearing now. please know how proud we are of your service. thank you for being with us. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity. >> gentlemen, we will not will
9:23 am
be much longer. just a couple of things that we want for the record. >> getting back to current shortfalls and the impact of future reductions, and mentioned in my opening statement that our deployed marines have all they need in terms of equipment and leadership to accomplish the mission. that is their absolute number one priority. the cost of insuring that they have all they need has been felt by the units at home station. two-thirds of our units at home station are currently in a state of degraded readiness. that impacts our ability to deal with another contingency for the unexpected -- there is a cost when we come back out of afghanistan to reset the force, to address those equipment shortfalls and to refresh the command that will be coming out of afghanistan. we currently estimates that bill
9:24 am
at $3 billion. in some ways, that is a good news story. a couple of years ago, that bill was in excess of $15 billion. but in the last couple of years, we have been able to do some resetting and support operations both in iraq and afghanistan. as with to the future, i would be concerned about two things. one, that we do? we reset the force and address those deficiencies and replace the equipment that is worn out from operations in afghanistan as we move to the future. the second thing is our ability to continue to modernize and keep pace with modern threats. and over and above the recent cost that brings us back to the force we had before we went to afghanistan and replacing ned equipment, we need to keep pace and modernize our equipment. for the reductions would preclude our ability to modernize. over time, we would end up in the same state but we were in the 1970's where our equipment was antiquated and worn out. that is one of the key aspects
9:25 am
of all of this. >> as we look at the manpower issues, the force is under pressure. our average deployments, 50% of our ships are under way and stretching out to about seven months. our ships are doing water in order to meet operational commitments overseas. so they are under stress. within that area, we have a group of very critical specialists. i am thinking of our nuclear operators, linguists, proctology is, those involved in highly technical fields like acoustics and aviation maintenance and electronics where, because the outside economy is presently not hiring to the level where they could think about leaving, they are staying with us. i concern, as we go forward into this environment, which echoes my fellow vice chiefs is concerning this element of keeping faith with the force we have and ensuring we sustain
9:26 am
their compensation in an area under high stress should the economy gets better and we lose those individuals in the future. retention is something we watch very carefully. we are enjoying great recruiting right now with the highest quality force we have ever had. we are very appreciative of that. in the long term, manpower, critical specialties are what we are most concerned about for our future. >> recruiting retention has never been stronger. it is absolutely amazing. if you had told me this eight years ago, i would have said that there is no way we could pull this together for eight years and having as strong as it is today. it is absolutely amazing. but at the same time, as the guy who gets paid to worry about things, i also believe it is fragile. i worry about rotary wing aviators. that is an area that my folks
9:27 am
are spending 12 months in theater, coming home for maybe 50 muster now and then right back out. i have a beat -- for maybe 15 months right now and then right back out. we are increasing our uniformed contract in court. the exterior of the army has made a decision to add additional uniformed contacting specialists, officers and senior non-commissioned officers to the united states army, even as we downsize the force. we realize it is absolutely critical. electronic warfare is also an area where we are adding to our rules, even as we downsize. >> i would like to pylon to what the general said. what really concerns me is the modernization area. the ground combat vehicle, the infantry fighting vehicle is critical to the united states army.
9:28 am
we're not talking about going into full reproduction. all we're trying to do is get from milestone a to milestone be and see what industry can give us at a point where we can make a decision from two years from now whether to go to a new build that industry brings us while, at the same time, during that time, we will look at off-the- shelf solutions to an infantry fighting vehicle. there are many. and then when those two lines of effort converge to and a half years from now, we will make a cost-informed decision on what we can afford. but to cut that off now, to not provide us the ability to do that will only put us two years behind. a modernization program is critical to the army. i think we're doing the same thing with the jltv. we are looking at the possibility of recapping some of these and what that would cost.
9:29 am
at this -- recapping humvees and what that would cost. we want to buy this vehicle between two hundred dollars -- two hundred thousand dollars and two hundred $40,000 per vehicle. -- between $200,000 and $240,000 per vehicle. do we recap humvees or do we go with a new jltv? i think it is absolutely essential that we be allowed to continue that critical work or we will end up with a force that is not modernized and a force that is not modernize is an unbalanced force. in the end, it will cost us lives. >> thank you. that is very informative.
9:30 am
>> one of the things that all of it -- all three of you talked about -- first of all, i want to compliment you. all three of your services have done a great job in retaining your troops and recruiting. i have looked and seen the price in each of your eyes as you look at the products that you're able to train and turnout. but i also hear you saying a phrase -- keeping faith -- which is the compensation package. it is a holistic approach. it is more than just the dollars. it is everything. it is the commissaries that they go to, the schools that they use, the programs that they have as an overall package. when someone sits down and determines whether they will reach up or sign in the first place -- there wily will re-up r sing in the first place
9:31 am
we had a recent policy change with don't ask/don't tell. we did an in-depth study, surveys, focus groups that were done before we implemented that policy. i wonder if you could elaborate a little bit what the army did, the navy did, the marine corps did in terms of that policy. and then compare that to what we have done with the compensation packages. have we done any similar types of analysis? >> we have not. the proposals have been coming from every direction. you're so correct. this is a holistic review. it needs to include those benefits you have for medical care, retirement, educational benefits -- they'll have to be looked at in a holistic package
9:32 am
and not looked at as individual programs because they are all interrelated. we need to do those focus groups. we need to know what the educational benefits mean to a 19-year-old kid coming out of high school in coming into the united states army. what role does that play in making their decision during a time of war? the secretary of the army and the chief of staff went out and talked with soldiers. they were expecting to get questions. they got a from a 19-year-old kid who said, "mr. secretary, what are you doing to my retirement?" we know the numbers, less than 70% of those will never reach retirement. but it leads one to believe that
9:33 am
that retirement package had a role in this individual making a decision to join us during a time of war. if we go back to what we just talked about in recruiting and retention, these are huge in our ability to be able to maintain this forced overtime. i would only echo what you say, chairman. we really need to take the time to look at this. we nitpick we understand it needs to be looked at. but -- we understand it needs to be looked at. but let's look at it collectively, the entire package, and see where that will take us. >> how many years have you served in the army? >> just short of 40. i do not look it, do i? >> no, you do not [laughter] . would you say it would be foolish or unpredictable for us to begin launching on is compensation packages before we see what it will do to the
9:34 am
force? >> yes. >> i would echo his comments and say that, when i go out and travel through the force and i visit, it is the number one question that i get. part of the benefit of the review process that happened under the steady for the repeal of don't ask/don't tell, we allowed a very methodical review of the policy issues, and ability to socialize discussions with the force and allow people to work through and air the questions and things of the had about the policy development. it was a pretty thorough process. they're worth surveys and policy development and analysis and communication. in an issue as important as retirement to our force, and for their decision about the attention, is similar type review of that thoroughness in
9:35 am
nature would be important, as well as the ability to have the force be communicated on the elements that are under consideration. i think that is essential for the long-term viability of the force. >> thank you. >> thank you for that question. i would agree with the characterization that you laid out in terms of compensation. i would summarize the key point in that is this. there have been many proposals about compensation that are out there that talks about how much money we will save. i have not seen a single proposal that provides analysis of what the effect on the force would be. at the end of the day, what compensation is about is our ability to continue to recruit and retain the high quality force that we have had in harm's way over the last 10 years. if you played for, it is a conversation about a young sergeant will have with his spouse 10 years from now. the spouse will say that your four years are up and what will we do? you have been away from home 180
9:36 am
days out of every 365 days. this is really hard. you're missing the key milestones of your children's lives. will we stay in or will we get out? at that point, the family will look holistic the at housing, education for their children, medical support, behavioral health support that exists and some of the intangibles like is their service a valued commodity have respect in their community, do their leaders treat them with trust? those are the tangible and intangible aspects the cause people to serve. when we talk about compensation, we need to talk about it in that light. it needs to be a holistic approach to ensure that, at the end of the day, when they have that conversation that the compensation for his service and the value placed in his service exceed the risks that we ask him to endure. >> general, i want to ask you the same question. despite your youthful, how many years have you served in the united states marine corps? >> i have served a mere 35 years
9:37 am
in active duty. >> how detrimental do you think it would be to your force if we launch on an changing these compensation packages before we do these reviews? >> i think it would be reckless to do changes in our compensation package right now without understanding the effect. i think each of the gentleman on this table will remember the quality of force that we had in the late-1970's. that is not what we want to go back to. as long as our nation has made a decision that we will have an all-volunteer force, the critical aspect is that we have to make sure that the compensation meets the requirements of the all- volunteer force. whether it is expensive or not is relative to what you get from it and how much it costs may not be expensive when you think about it in those terms. from my perspective, again, the chairman has said that we looked at compensation and we should study compensation.
9:38 am
at the end of the day, we have to do that in a way that ensures that we continue to recruit and retain that high-quality force. folks who lose sight of that are it heading down a path where they have no idea what is on the other end. >> i would like to shift gears a little bit. we hear a lot of discussions, both in congress and across the country. if we were to not be ford- deployed, if we were to pull our troops and assets from across -- not to be forward-deployed, if we were to uphold our troops and assets from across the globe, in general, can you tell us how that would impact the marines if that was done and whether or not you think that would be a good policy for us to undertake? >> first of all, as i mentioned
9:39 am
, our forward-deployed and forward-based forces show our commitment to various regions. being engaged this way helps us to shape the environment rather than reacting to the environment. we're allowed to respond to crises in an efficient manner. to give you an example, from a time and space perspective, from the impact and pulling back to the continental united states, at the 10th amendment -- the marine expeditionary force in okinawa and move it to the continental united states, in the event of a crisis, chairman, it would take months to move that forced the western pacific.
9:40 am
it would take a miracle of planes, trains, and automobiles to move that force. >> we had a sea power symposium in rhode island. nearly all were chiefs of their navies from countries around the world. the question that they raised repeatedly is will you be here with us? will you be forward and operate? they articulated the need for stability against piracy, to provide a shield for our allies in europe, a nuclear deterrent, to be able to operate with our partners, the marine corps, project power from a carrier air wing, from a submarine sgn, or from the amphibious forces. but the primary element is the stability and assured the to our allies to be forward and to respond quickly. the demand for naval forces has never been higher, both in
9:41 am
central command and the western pacific, but also in other regions. or to support special forces from international waters. we see the pulling back those forces would abdicate the nation's maritime neleadership n the world. >> thank you. general. >> we understand that adjustments will have to be made to forward-deployed army forces. at the same time, we think it is absolutely critical from engagements standpoint. the relationships that are made when a young captain meets another captain from another service and they grew up together in their own services and have that connection back and forth, they are absolutely critical, particularly in a strategy that will rely on the ability of allies to assist us. without that forward engagement,
9:42 am
that living and working and training with those forces, we lose so much. i would be very, very careful at taking a look at just what the green-eyeshade people would look at when they look at forward- deployed and station forces. i would look at some of the second and third order effects and the intangibles of the relationships that are built and how critical they are in a time of crisis. it is always good to have someone on the other side you can call. and many of these engagements provide that. >> we sometimes get caught in the nomenclature and the syntax. if we make all of these cuts, we will have to come back and redo our strategy so that we cannot do as many missions. the chairman was kind enough or smart enough to have the three
9:43 am
former chairman testify before the committee a couple of weeks ago. we had a former chairman -- we had former chairman hunter and skelton and warner from the senate. i ask them what warning you would like to give to our committee or to the congress from all of your years of experience. and congressman skelton said that, throughout his tenure in congress, there were 13 contingencies, 12 of which were not protected. -- or not predicted. -- were not predicted. do you know when you were asked to perform by the president of the united states and said you could not because it was not in your strategy? >> no. when i was a division commander, i spent a year in iraq.
9:44 am
i came back and went into a recent days. i was back for three months when katrina hit in the continental united states. i was told that i was at the lowest readiness level of any unit in the united states army. to pick up a brigade and send it to new orleans, to fort hood, texas within 24 hours. when i asked the question -- are you kidding me? we had just gone back from iraq. they said, you do not understand could you pick up your brigade and be in new orleans in 24 hours. we will never fail you. we will always do it. but if we are not trained, not equipped, do not have the proper force structure, the results will not be good. they will not be good. >> would it be fair to say that but that includes the number of men and women who come back -- >> that is exactly where those try to show in my historical examples.
9:45 am
no one ever said no, we will not take task forces into korea. they said roger, we will do it. they went in with incomplete infantry battalions and ill- equipped and they took 40% casualties. that is what happened. we will never say no. that, i think, we can all promise you. the key is the results when we do that mission. >> admiral ferguson? >> i would echo that. in the history of the nation, we have never said no and we will never say no in the future. our forces will be as ready as we can make them. we will operate forward and be ready and we will take risks at home rather than in any way keep the forces that we have able to achieve emission. >> would you agree that, if that risk is increased that the risk of the number of men and women may come back from that mission
9:46 am
are at risk if they are unprepared? >> i think all of us in the service except that risk as part of the business of wearing this uniform and serving the nation. we accept that as part of the calculus. our mission as leaders is to make them as ready, to give them the equipment and minimize that as much as possible. >> saying no to the commander- in-chief is not in our dna. we will never do that. we never have. i would agree with what they have said. we will never say. but if you go into harm's way without adequate equipment, without adequate leadership, the cost of going into harm's way without being ready, which is what we have articulated today, which is the requirement to keep our forces and a high rate of readiness, not to have them prepared for the unexpected. but the cost of going into harm's way without the benefit of feliz readiness is absolutely at the cost of young americans.
9:47 am
>> one of the things that we asked the former chairman is that, if you could give us one warning about the cuts, what with the warning be you would give to the full committee that we could give to congress? out of all of your years of experience, what concerns you most? with that, please feel free to tell us anything that we have left out that you feel you want to get on this record so we can give you that opportunity to do that. then i will wrap up by letting the chairman and missed the bill have any final comments that they would like to make. bidell.miss the bil >> my biggest fear is that -- we understand that we have to downsize the army. we know that we're going to 520,000 -- that is in the book. i am concerned about losing the
9:48 am
entire temporary strength increase because i have such a high number of individuals who are in the disability evaluation system. is taking me wait too long to get through that. i will not go into it in great detail. but i hope we will look at the disability evaluation system and design one for an all-volunteer force rather than a system that currently is built for a conscript force. i think that is a huge issue out there when it comes to readiness that we have to look at. but my fear is that we will might do this in a balanced way. whatever size force we have at the end has got to be modernized, well-trained, and maintained. that is absolutely critical. and besides shrinking our force, the real mistake we have made in the past is to take some kind of solace in the fact that, from the army standpoint, we maintain at hueneme.ucture tha
9:49 am
it was the modernization of that force and the training of that force that got them into trouble. that is what caused the 40% casualty. i just ask that, as we look at this, that we do so with that 3- assessed at the top about early on, force structure, modernization, and training and maintaining that forced and ensure that, whatever size the army is at the end of this thing, that it is a well- trained, modernize force that can do with the nation asks it to do. >> i firmly believe that america is a maritime nation, faced by two oceans and our prosperity and our standing in the world in many ways is insured by the no forces that we are able to deploy forward.
9:50 am
around the globe, potential competitors are working to negate the advantage through anti-access aerial the nile activities and we have to be able to pace that in the modernization of our forces as we go forward. our allies and our friends look to was to provide stability in the global common, that is the sea. we have assured them that we're committed to do so. i think that is an important point of our security as we go forward. and i think about the future, the element of balance within the naval portfolio is important. it is about ensuring the forces that we have, whatever level that we sat on those from a strategy and the fiscal environment are extraordinarily capable to meet that threat, able to move forward, ready with adequate weapons, people, training, such that it delivers to the president and the nation options that he can use forward
9:51 am
away from our shores. as i leave you with thoughts were things that really affect me, i had the occasion to attend the memorial service for the seals were killed in that crash in afghanistan. the strength of their families and the commitment of those individuals who are operating on a 700-day cycle and are gone for about 500 days -- have been doing this for 10 years of war. that core of people in the united states are willing to raise their right hand answer. to me, we can never lose that. that is the most essential element. thank you. >> what concerns me -- without an adequate appreciation of the implications of readiness or of breaking faith. what concerns me is that folks who think that, if we get it wrong that we can simply fix it in a year or two.
9:52 am
that is not possible. if we break the trust of our marines, sailors, soldiers today, it will be ticket before we get it back. some of the decisions we make, from an industrial base perspective, but also from a human factor perspective, we cannot possibly get it wrong. we will not get it exactly right, but we cannot exactly get it wrong. the last thing is that people would assume that the united states of america reduces in capability and someone else will be out there to pick up the slack. i do not know who that would be. who will pick up the slack for people who -- we assume extremist vetter critical to the united states if they are not there to deploy, not forward to engage and not providing our potential feliz. >> thank you, general. we have been joined again by our chairman. i would like to ask if he has any final questions or comments
9:53 am
you'd like to offer. >> yes, thank you, mr. chairman. not to drag this out, but i had a call several weeks ago from a young man that i watched grow up. his dad is a good friend of mine. he is an air force officer. he is a physician station data send a tailspin -- stationed out of senate failed -- stationed out of san mateo. he has been in the service for 12 years. he asked me what he can expect. he is enjoying the service, but he is very concerned. i could not tell them. i do not know what his future is. i do not know
9:54 am
>> can we look forward to a career? i have seen this movie before, when i was pretty new in the congress. i was going up to this at west point and i had a lieutenant colonel with me. he did not let us go anywhere alone. his dad had been the chief of the army. no, his grandpa had been the chief of the army. his dad had been the youngest brigadier in the army, and then he suffered a stroke, and that ended his career. this lieutenant-colonel, his whole life, that was all he ever want to do was serve in the military.
9:55 am
.e was being rif'd the drawdown under bush and clinton earlier in the 1990's, he did not want to leave, but he did not have a choice. when we got to west point, we were greeted by a lieutenant colonel there, and he was also being rif'd. to the first guy, it meant a lot. that does break faith as far as i am concerned. you start somebody out on a career, you send them to west point or annapolis or air force academy, and you make certain promises, and then you break those promises. that is basically what has happened.
9:56 am
i think about these young men that are going outside the wire over in afghanistan every day on patrol, and if they are having to think about what is happening about my future, instead of contra rate -- concentrating on ied's's or snipers are just not being able to be totally focused on their job, that puts them at risk today, needlessly. >> mr. chairman, we thank you for those comments and that passion and you have for our men and women who serve in our military. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman.
9:57 am
i want to thank the general for his comments about the specific area and how important it is that we continue to increase our force structure. this is a troubled area, and mr. chairman, i live there. that is my home. i want to know that we americans living in guam and other islands surrounding us are protected. and to all of you who gave us information this afternoon, i found it very valuable and how important is to keep up the strength of our military forces. >> we thank you for your service to our country and for the men and women who served under you. i think we can tell from listing to your testimony and the
9:58 am
comments appear, this is not just about procurement, not just about aircraft carriers. does all come down to individuals and those men and women who served under you. all of us have those stories that make this very, very real. mine was a young marine. only wanted to do from the time he was 11 was served in the marine corps. when he was 18, he became a marine. when he was 19, i was speaking at his funeral. he had a tattoo of an american flag, and another one of family. this is the absolute best that america has to give. one of the things we have to make certain of is that we do not break that fate. admiral ferguson, as you mentioned, and if if we lose those families, if we lose those people, this country has a tough road for us to travel down.
9:59 am
i think he could tell from this subcommittee, we don't plan to go quietly in the night. we plan to fight as much as we can to make sure you guys never have of their fight. we are keeping faith and making sure they are the best trained, best prepared, best equipped military in the world. thank you for your careers and helping to make that happen and thank you for giving us a record that we can share with other members of congress to help make that a reality. with that, we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the u.s. senate is about the gavel and for the day. they will wrap up debate and vote on a number of amendments,
10:00 am
the so-called minibus bill which includes spending for agriculture, commerce, justice, transportation and housing departments. they're expected to take a series of votes this morning. they will recess for party lunches at 12:30 in return for general speeches at 2:15 p.m. now live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, who undergirds our weakness with your strength, look with favor upon us today.
10:01 am
with your favor, we can face any future with the confident assurance that you control our destinies. as our lawmakers wrestle with great issues, let your presence provide them with the empowering experience of inner quiet and certainty. guide them by your enabling might that they may maintain their integrity lord, give us all an inheritance, uncorruptable and undefiled that does not fade away. we pray in your sacred name.
10:02 am
amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., november 1, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable jeanne shaneen, a senator from the state of new hamprshire, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 2112. there could be as many as seven roll call votes. it's likely there will only be
10:03 am
six. senate will recess from 12:30 to 2:15:25 for our weekly caucus meetings. there will be a senators-only national security briefing at 3:30. p.m. i haven't had an opportunity to speak with the republican leader but we will discuss whether we should be out of session during that hour. it's a very important briefing. i'll talk to my counterpart at the earliest possible-term time to determine if we should be out of session during that important briefing. also i want to put -- all senators on notice that we're going to stick to our timelines on these votes. the first vote will be 15 points minutes, there will be a five-minute grace period, the rest of the votes will be 10 minutes with a five commitment grace period. if people are not here, we're turning in the vote. we have two very important caucuses today and we need to start those. we can't have these votes dragging on never forever so if
10:04 am
you have committee meetings, walk out of them. if have you business meetings in your office dealing with constituents, leave and come here and vote. because everyone is on notice, democrats, republicans, we're going to turn the votes in at the end of the expired time. it's not fair to senators who are here on time, madam president, to wait for others to take place, senator mcconnell and i have caucuses today that are extremely important and we need to have the full time. it's the only time we have all week to visit with our senators. as to things that are going on in the senate. we meet with them alone. there are two bills at the desk for a second reading, i'm told. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 674, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 and so forth and for other purposes. s. 1769 a bill to put workers back on the job while rebuilding and modernizing america.
10:05 am
mr. reid: i would object to further proceedings regarding these two bills. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bills will be placed on the calendar under rule 14. mr. reid: madam president, this week democrats introduced legislation to put americans back to work, rebuilding this nation's crumbling infrastructure. this legislation would allow to us hire thousands of people, to upgrade 150,000 miles of roadways, improve thousands of miles of train tracks, and modernize our nation's runways and our air traffic control systems. the rebuild america jobs act will invest $50 billion to ensure our world-class economy has world-class infrastructure and get this economy working again. this is not a new issue, madam president. it's something that's long, long overdue. a number of years ago i conducted a hearing in the public works tee committee where we brought in mayors from around the country, atlanta,
10:06 am
georgia, washington, d.c., places around the country, and they lamented the sorry state of their infrastructure and sadly, madam president, in those approximately ten years nothing has been done, nothing. so this commonsense plan that we have proposed has enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the past. many of my republican colleagues in the senate have spoken glowingly about what infrastructure investments could do to put people back to work and improve the economy in their home states. yet this week republicans have raised a hue and cry against our plan because it asks millionaires and billionaires whose income is more than a million dollars to contribute their fair share to the effort to right our listing economy. we don't cast a net over millionaires and billionaires only those that make more than a million dollars a year, whose income is more than a million dollars a year. the plan would require the richest of the rich in america to contribute a tiny fraction of their income to that effort.
10:07 am
they would pay .7%, a surtax on income in excess of a million dollars a year. so if someone made $1.1 million a year, income, they would have to pay an additional $700 to put america back to work. yet my republican colleagues adamantly opposed this fair and balanced approach because wyatt require americans who have done better and better each year for decades to contribute a tiny fraction more than they do now. these people are the top .2% of american taxpayers. .2% of the richest of the rich. republicans have put the interest of these millionaires and billionaires ahead of those who are desperate for work and has cost this nation literally millions of jobs. it's important we be clear about
10:08 am
who these lucky few, these millionaires and billionaires are who enjoy the protections of the senate g.o.p. who are they? here's who they are. the same millionaires and billionaires whose annual aftertax income has increased by 275% over the last three decades. i repeat, madam president, 275%. that's not some figure that was made up out of the blue by some right-wing or left-wing organization. it came from the nonpartisan congressional budget office. these are the same millionaires and billionaires whose annual after-tax income has increased by 275% over the last three decades. between 1979 and 2007, the bottom 20% of wage earners saw their wages creep up slowly, 18%. meantime, the top 1% saw theirs double again and again and again
10:09 am
to almost 300% increase. the bottom 20% of wage earners saw theirs go up 18%. the people i've talked about, the millionaires and billionaires, they have gone up almost 300%. in fact, their share of the nation's income is higher than any time since 1928. just before the stock market crashed. their share of the national income has doubled since 1979. listen to this, madam president. and now they take home more than half of all the money earned each year in this great country. even after taxes. they take home more than half the money earned each year in this country. that means this 1% now makes more than the other 99% combined.
10:10 am
and this they're not going to allow to us proceed to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for a tax yeef of .7% of the richest of the rich? no one deprives them of their prosperity. they've worked hard and it happened been all inherited money. we understand that. but their tremendous fortune including their tremendous fortunes means they can afford to contribute a key tiny fraction more to shore up the economic future of our nation. john d. rockefeller jr. the grandfather of jay rockefeller from west virginia who serves in this body today, his grandfather said, and i quote, "every right implies a responsibility. every opportunity an obligation. every possession a duty.
10:11 am
every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity an obligation, every possession, a duty." 72% of americans understand that. including 54% of republicans, they support the democrats' plan to put this nation out of the worst recession we've seen since the great depression by ?refg new roadways, runways and railways and 76% of americans including 56% of republicans agree the nation's most privileged citizens should contribute a little more to help pay for it. democrats, republicans, independents, tiahrt even favor this -- tee party even favor this. the tea party even favors this. they all believe in initiatives that we've proposed to jump-start our economy but they know the money will have to come from somewhere. they know tough choices must be made. the world out there, madam president, supports what we're trying to do. the world inside this body with
10:12 am
the 47 republicans who are stopping us with their obstructionist tactics not are following what america knows they want and they need. they believe in initiatives we've proposed to jump-start our economy. they know the money will have to come from somewhere, they know tough choices must be made. asking someone making, for example, $1.1 million to contribute a few dollars more every year shouldn't be one of our tougher choicessed. it should be a so-called no brainer. while democrats fight for the middle class seems republicans fight for the 1% of americans who have every resources available to fight for themselves. madam president, would the chair announce the business of the day.
10:13 am
mr. reid: the business of the day, please. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 2112 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 155, h.r. 2112 an act making appropriations for agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration and related agency programs for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012 and for other purposes.
10:14 am
10:15 am
the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. kohl: the first amendment we will be considering today is the coburn amendment which will reduce funding for the rural development mission area by $1 billion or 41% spread equally over the agency. and i am opposing this amendment. this is not the time to curtail essential programs that support jobs and incomes in our rural areas. so i will oppose this amendment, and i urge my colleagues to do so as well. i'd like now to recognize senator sherrod brown of owe. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: madam president, thank you. i rise in opposition to the coburn amendment, the 41% over $1 billion cut to do's rural development mission. everyone togs about job growth,
10:16 am
as we should. some of us want to do more specific things than others. but you've got to ask your question we're going to consider a 41% cut, how does a small town support entrepreneurs when the best it can offer is dial-up internet access? how does a rural village in allen county, ohio, finance a $2.r5 million water system without some kinds of grants or loans? do rural development is the -- you do rural development is the only -- >> i ask my completion to vote no on the amendments. the presiding officer: the gentleman's time is yielded back. a senator: i ask for the yeas and nays on the amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. the clerk will call the roll.
10:17 am
vote:
10:18 am
10:19 am
10:20 am
10:21 am
10:22 am
10:23 am
10:24 am
10:25 am
10:26 am
10:27 am
10:28 am
10:29 am
10:30 am
vote:
10:31 am
10:32 am
10:33 am
10:34 am
10:35 am
10:36 am
10:37 am
10:38 am
10:39 am
10:40 am
10:41 am
the presiding officer: is there anyone the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? hearing none, the coburn amendment 800 has 13 ayes and 85 noes. the amendment is not agreed to. the senate will be in order. the senator from wisconsin. mr. kohl: madam president, i move to reconsider the vote by
10:42 am
which the bill was passed. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the senator from kentucky is to be recognized to offer an amendment. the senate will be in order. the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: i call up my -- >> parliamentary inquiry, please. the presiding officer: the senator would hold. the senator from california.
10:43 am
mrs. boxer: i wanted to make sure i would have a minute to respond against the amendment. the presiding officer: that's correct, there are two minutes evenly divided on this amendment. mrs. boxer: thank you. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. paul, proposes an amendment 831 to the amendment 738. mr. paul: i ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will be in order. mr. paul: this would secure funds for repairing our nation's bridges. i've stood with the president in the shadows of our crumbling bridges, i told the president personally i would help to rebuild the bridges. this amendment should be bipartisan. this amendment should be noncontroversial. this amendment spends new money and raises new taxes. this amendment simply takes funds from beautification and puts them into bridges. as legislators, we need to
10:44 am
prioritize and spend money on what is most important to us. some on the other side may like the beautification projects. we like them also but we are running a $1.5 trillion deficit and we must prioritize if we wish to fix our nation's bridges and if we are serious about it, we will pass this amendment which will immediately create a fund to begin fixing our nation's bridges. thank you, madam president. i reserve the remaippedder of my time. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, this amendment is not about taking funds from beautification and putting them into bridges. as a matter of fact, what this amendments to is, it prohibits any bridge from being fixed that is an historic bridge and there are thousands of those bridges
10:45 am
all over this great nation, including the brooklyn bridge. secondly, it would tell our states they can't use these tiger funds for things they want. now, i know my colleague thinks it's beautification to have a pedestrian or bicycle path built. the fact is, 13% of traffic fatalities nationwide occur on -- because we don't have these safety improvements. 47,000 pedestrians killed between 2000 and 2009. that's the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every month. this isn't about takingmont money for beautification. senator inhofe and i have worked very closely as we reauthorized the highway bill to make sure that we're not frivolous in what we fund. please vote this down. we voted down a similar amendment before. the presiding officer: the senator has flee seconds. mra senator: $3 million was
10:46 am
spent on a turtle tunnel. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. under the previous order, 60 votes are required for the adoption of this amendment o am. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
10:47 am
10:48 am
10:49 am
10:50 am
10:51 am
10:52 am
10:53 am
10:54 am
10:55 am
10:56 am
10:57 am
10:58 am
10:59 am
11:00 am
vote:
11:01 am
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? hearing none, on this vote the yeas are 38, the nays are 60. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to.
11:02 am
a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. kohl: i move to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from missouri. mr. blunt: madam president, -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the motion. mr. blunt: i move to lay the motion on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there will now be two minutes, evenly divided on amendment 763. the senator from south carolina. a senator: the e.p.a. three years ago came out with a ruling that bans these over-the-counterren hailers that that -- mr. roberts: i don think the senate is in order. i have a bill on this amendment which is the same thing. by ask for regular order.
11:03 am
the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from south carolina. mr. demint: the e.p.a. has banned inhalers even though acknowledged neglect religionable impact on the environment. my amendment keeps this rule from going into -- into effect until the manufacturer can complete its work with f.d.a. to change its propel apartment. let's allow americans to continue their quality of life while we solve the problem. we don't need to do that this january. it will be solved without the f.d.a. enforcing this rule. and i reserve the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: the senate is not in order. colleagues, this amendment affects the ability of people with asthma to purchase an inhaler that works. and the american lung
11:04 am
association opposes this amendment. the american thoracic society which is the expert, these are the experts on anything to do with respiratory diseases, 150,000 doctors oppose this amendment. i'm perplexed by it because the reason we want to get away from these c.f.c.'s is because ronald reagan signed the treaty to do away with them and george w. bush passed the rule to do away with them. so on behalf of the people who depend on inhalers that work right, that don't use c.f.c.'s, i hope we'll stand with the lung association and the 150,000 doctors of the thoracic society. i hope we'll vote this done. mr. demint: madam president, how much time do i have left? the presiding officer: 18 seconds. mr. demint: there are many doctors who want folks to get prescriptions but let three
11:05 am
million americans access these inhalers. they do not cause problems with the environment, the e.p.a. has recognized it's neglect negligid the manufacturers will have it worked out over the next few years. the presiding officer: the senator from's time has expired. mr. demint: thank you, madam president. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
11:06 am
11:07 am
11:08 am
11:09 am
11:10 am
11:11 am
11:12 am
11:13 am
11:14 am
11:15 am
11:16 am
vote:
11:17 am
11:18 am
11:19 am
mr. reid: move to reconsider and lay it on the table. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: it is my understanding on the -- it is my understanding on the next vote
11:20 am
that's scheduled, the crapo a.m., that senator crapo and senator stabenow wish to enter into a colloquy, and i ask unanimous consent they both be given two minutes to explain what this is all about. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. crapo: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator idaho. mr. crapo: i will withdraw this amendment at the conclusion of this colloquy, but i wanted to make sure we understand what the amendment does. this amendment prohibits any funds from being used by the cftc to promulgate any final rules under title 7 until the agency substantiates that those rules are economically beneficial, add here to congressional intent to provide end users from a clear exemption from margin requirements. while there is not yet yet a bipartisan agreement to go forward with this amendment at this time, there is a bipartisan list of issues that regulators need to address. they need to protect end users
11:21 am
from burdensome margin requirements. margin requirements currentlying another the clear intent of congress not to impose them on end users. they need to limit the extraterritorial application of title 7 in section 722 and 764. this is also be addressed in the house of representatives. they need to encourage greater harmonization between the s.e.c. and international regulators for cross-border issues and they need to enshould that you are the new rules are subject to quantityive assessment of cost and benefits. the regulatorrers involved in our rule-making process should know that congress is going to closely monitor how they proceed and we expect a change in course. if we don't get that change in course, then we'll need to return to this kind of legislation. i want to thank senator stabenow for working with me. she and many other senators across the aisle have indicated a willingness to help try to achieve these objectives and to work together to try to make
11:22 am
this happen. so, with that, i'd yield my time to senator stabenow. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, madam president. first, i want to thank my colleague for raising issues of great importance to all of us, financial regulatory reform is critically important for our country moving forward. and senator crapo and i have talked earlier about his amendment. we have a number of areas in which we share concern, and i am committed to work with him on these shalls. first and foremost, i agree with my friend from idaho that we need to protect our manufacturers, our rural co-ops, energy providers, other companies that use financial products to manage their legitimate business risks. these end users didn't cause the financial crisis. and so when we pass wall street reform, we included protections for them. we've held several hearings in the agriculture committee to reinforce the regulators to reinforce to them that manufacturers and others need to be protected. we'll continue to do that
11:23 am
oversight. we certainly agree as new priewls are written, we need to make sure they are open and there is a transparent process. i believe that commodity futures trading commission has created in fact an open and transparent process and has worked to improve that process over time. they've held round tables, sought public comment on making changes based on those comments to ensure that the rules work. but it's important that we continue to have oversight, work with the agencies to make sure that the rules are right. we will be holding another oversight hearing in the next few weeks. and the it's important that we continue to urge the regulators to be mindful of the effects on american businesses, but it's also important to remember that we massed reform because of the serious consequences of the financial crisis. millions of families who lost their homes, countless businesses shuttered, 8 million jobs lost. so that we need to ensure that the rules are written in way that creates incentives to be
11:24 am
able to keep jobs here, for banks not to move their operations overseas, to avoid oversight and we share that concern. we need to get the rules right and keep the jobs here in mencht and i -- as i told my colleague dlsh continue to work with him on these important issues. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from idaho. mr. crapo: thank you. madam president with that, understanding, i first ask that our full statements for each of us be placed in the record at this time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. crapo: and i would ask unanimous consent that my amendment be withdrawn. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: madam president, i have a unanimous consent request. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: madam president, i would hope that everyone just listened to and watch the exemplary way of ridding ourselves of some of these amendments. we have two more amendments. it would be great if we didn't have to vote on those. i think that the explanation given by the two senators is an indication that progress can be made, even without a vote.
11:25 am
mr. levin: madam president? the presiding officer: is noter from michigan. mr. levin: i had he ask unanimous consent that a statement of mine relative to the crapo amendment be inserted in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. there are two minutes evenly divided -- or maybe not.
11:26 am
mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the amendment just called is not ripe for debate here. i would ask consent that we move to the coburn amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: madam president, this is a straightforward amendment on a program that fails 70% of the time. we spend $35 million a year. it has an abject failure rate, only 30% of it results in anything positive happening, 75% of the time is does not. the obama administration, the bush administration thought this program should be canceled. i yield the balance of my time. ms. collins: madam president, only $6 million is provided for this program, but it makes a big difference for small rural communities that are struggling
11:27 am
to provide air service. air service is so important to jobs and economic development in these regions. it's important to note that there is a requirement for state and local participation in these programs and that there's a high demand. nearly 300 communities across this country have benefited from this program since it was established. senator hutch son of has offered to tighten up the program to meet the concerns of the senator from oklahoma. i urge my colleagues to reject the amendment. this is really critical to small, rural communities. mr. coburn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. burn porn what the senator from maine -- mr. coburn: what the senator just said, $2.8 million might be successful.
11:28 am
with ads 15 trillion debt, we can't continue to do this no matter how great it sounds when it fails 70% of the time. i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
11:29 am
11:30 am
11:31 am
ro ?reet vote:
11:32 am
11:33 am
11:34 am
11:35 am
11:36 am
11:37 am
11:38 am
11:39 am
11:40 am
11:41 am
11:42 am
the presiding officer: has every member voted? does any member wish to change his or her vote?
11:43 am
on this amendment the ayes are 41, the nays are 57. the amendment is not agreed to. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: i have a motion to recommit at the table. the presiding officer: the motion is pending and the senator has one minute. mr. lee: mr. president, i filed this motion to recommit h.r. 2112 with instructions to send this minibecause bust back to the committee on appropriations for one simple reason. i spends more for the same set of expenditures in fiscal year 2012 than it did in 2011 to the tune of about $10 billion.
11:44 am
i understand that there are reasons for this excess. i understand that when we look at individual components of the 2012 provision, there may be some cuts in there. but the overall picture, the entire pie, is about $10 billion more than what we had in f.y. 2011. unless we can be open and transparent with the american people and acknowledge the fact that we are in fact spending more, i think this is a problem. we've got to get this fiscal house in order and this is how it's per internet pet 2008ed when we claim we're cutting when we're in fact spending more. that's the reason for this motion to commit and i urge my colleagues to support it. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. inouye: this motion purports to cut spending but this motion is extremely misleading because
11:45 am
increased mandatory spending including the -- in the three bills, they're not touching that. agriculture alone would see a $7 billion cut due to increases in mandatory programs. if you include emergency disaster relief, it would force an additional cut of $3.2 billion. mr. president, the measure before us pertains to our 302(b) allocation scored by the c.b.o. and the senate budget committee and it meets every requirement. budget control act. i strongly urge a "no" vote. a senator: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. the clerk will call the roll.
11:46 am
vote:
11:47 am
11:48 am
11:49 am
11:50 am
11:51 am
11:52 am
11:53 am
11:54 am
11:55 am
11:56 am
11:57 am
11:58 am
11:59 am

49 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on